Don’t overlook public areas for your waterfowl hunt

One of the benefits of being a Ducks Unlimited member, besides helping restore waterfowl habitat, is that DU sends you hunting tips from time to time. The most recent tip is how to hunt waterfowl on public lands.

Waterfowl hunting has become more of a private land activity in the last decade or so. A lot of waterfowlers have resorted to leasing blinds on ponds and in farm fields. That’s a great way to go, if you can afford it, but it’s not the only option.

There’s a lot of waterfowl hunting to be found on public land. Especially in Wyoming, which is about 50 percent public. There are plenty of birds to go along with that abundance of public ground, as well. The only problem with hunting public areas is the competition from other hunters.

Ducks Unlimited recently sent out some tips to hunting public areas for waterfowl. DU’s first recommendation is to set out a good decoy spread. They talked to Dr. Joe Sands, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, who said birds don’t spread out on the water. They clump together where there are good sources of food. So instead of laying out your dekes evenly, put them in bunches, to simulate birds feeding.

Ducks Unlimited also recommends volunteering with state or federal agencies to perform some of the habitat restoration. While that won’t help you now, next spring and summer, you can offer your aid to those groups, and you might find some good places to go hunting next year.

They also recommend you call as a team, rather than having just one person working a call. Take turns calling – don’t just have everyone calling at once. It’ll sound more lifelike to the incoming birds.

If you want more waterfowl hunting tips, visit Ducks Unlimited’s website, and sign up for a membership. You’ll be helping waterfowl populations, and you’ll also get good advice that will help you increase your hunting success.